LG G3 vs Galaxy S5: What Buyers Need to Know

When it comes to choosing a smartphone this summer, there are a lot of options. With the Samsung Galaxy S5 and LG G3 both readily available around the globe and from all major carriers in the United States, consumers may be weighing their options before making a decision.

The Galaxy S5 was released back in April and had a good three month lead on the new LG G3, and many buyers didn’t want to wait. However, if users are looking for a phone this summer both are now available, and you’ll want to compare them closely.

Read: 5 Reasons to Wait for the LG G3

Here we take a look at how the flagship Samsung Galaxy S5 compares to LG’s latest G3, what they both have to offer, how they differ, and explain everything buyers will need to know before forking out hard-earned money or signing a 2-year contract for either smartphone.

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Lately all the attention has been on the upcoming Galaxy Note 4 or the iPhone 6, but for those wanting to stay on Android, or don’t want a massive 5.7-inch device like the Galaxy Note 4 when it arrives in October, there are plenty of options available. Not to mention if you need a phone today, the devices we’re comparing are both available.

When it comes to which smartphone is actually “better” between the Samsung Galaxy S5 or the LG G3 there are a lot of things that come into play. Pricing or carriers is a big one, but these are similarly priced and available from all carriers.User preference, software or hardware needs, and of course the size of the device. While we don’t have all the answers, nor know what every user needs or wants, below are a five or so key features or differences that separate the two and may help consumers make the right choice.

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Display

Many consumers these days are choosing a smartphone based on screen size. One example of that being a leading factor is shown by Apple finally moving the iPhone like to a bigger 4.7-inch display with the new iPhone 6. With that being said, both the LG G3 and Galaxy S5 have much bigger screens, but you’ll want to see them both in action before making a choice.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 5.1-inch 1920 x 1080p HD AMOLED display. To be honest, I feel it’s the best display of any smartphone this year. The colors, saturation, clarity, viewing angles, and natural whites just makes it a stunning device.

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The LG G3 though, is no slouch either. It offers the first Quad-HD display for a smartphone in the United States. That being a 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 resolution. Images are sharp and crisp, videos are big and vibrant, and it’s an excellent experience as well. Not only that, but the bezels are so slim the device is nearly the same size as the Galaxy S5, yet has a much bigger screen.

Read: LG G3 Review

However, the colors aren’t as sharp, brightness doesn’t compare to the Galaxy S5, and the viewing angles (on mine at least) are quite poor when compared to the Galaxy S5. The LG G3 screen is excellent, don’t get me wrong, but not quite as good as Samsung’s.

Design

Samsung and LG are both in the same boat when it comes to design, and materials used on smartphones. Both have been making plastic smartphones for years, ones that “look” like they’re aluminum but not. The ring around the Galaxy S5 is actually plastic, but looks like chrome, and the brushed aluminum design on the LG G3 is pretty but added to a plastic shell.

In terms of design and build quality they’re pretty much on par, with Samsung maybe having a slight edge when it comes to overall durability and build quality.

LG G3 Review from iPhone User - 7

However, there’s a few major differences between both these phones. One being the LG G3 has all the buttons on the pack, and the second being Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is IP67 dust and water-resistant. Something LG can’t claim.

The Galaxy S5 can be dropped in water for hours and hours (they suggest only 30 minutes max) and come out working just fine. We’ve seen this from various tests online and from YouTube videos. It’s extremely durable and rugged, and while the LG G3 is too, the slim bezels around the large screen may not handle drops as easily as Samsung, and it certainly won’t survive water accidents like Samsung’s Galaxy S5.

Galaxy S5 Review - 6

Overall the LG G3 is a better looking device in our opinion, but everything about the Galxy S5 design had a purpose. Right down to the fingerprint scanner in the home button, and the water-resistant capabilities. If you’re more active, the Samsung is for you, that’s for sure.

Specs

While specs aren’t as important as having a device that’s fast, fluid, and will work for years to come, it’s still something many consider while making a purchase. Below are the hard numbers for those interested, but it all boils down to these devices being nearly the same under the hood with a few small changes, and software will play the biggest role in how each device performs.

Galaxy S5 Specs

  • 5.1-inch 1920 x 1080p HD AMOLED display
  • 2.5 GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 801 with 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB internal storage (Micro-SD expansion)
  • 16 Megapixel camera and 2MP front shooter
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat with a new TouchWiz
  • USB 3.0, infrared port for remote
  • IP67 dust and water resistant
  • Fingerprint and heart rate sensors
  • 2.800 mAh battery

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LG G3 Specs

  • 5.5-inch 2560 × 1440 display Quad-HD display
  • 2.5 GHz Quad-core Snapdragon processor with 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB internal storage (Micro-SD expansion)
  • 13-megapixel camera with OIS+, laser auto-focus, 2.1-megapixel front camera
  • Android 4.4.2
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, 4G LTE, FM Radio Antenna, and Infrared laser for remote
  • DLNA and Miracast support
  • 3,000 mAh battery with wireless charging

As you can see from the breakdown above, these devices are extremely similar. Essentially buyers main concerns should be on the waterproof features, the camera, screen size, or simply which manufacturer has the best software. And those are in no particular order. Any one of those could and can be the deciding factor.

Read: Galaxy S5 Review

Software

The biggest difference between both of these phones is actually the software. Both run Android 4.4.2 KitKat currently, which is nearly the latest version of Android. Whether you’ve used a Galaxy device or an LG phone in the past, they’ve both been completely redesigned. Samsung’s TouchWiz is much different than years past, but also getting slower and slower as they continue to pile more features, gimmicks, and options inside.

However, there’s plenty to love from the Galaxy S5 software. It offers multi-window mode, one-handed operation controls, kids mode, and even an Ultra battery saver option for when you truly need to expend battery life. There’s tons  it can do, and read about it all in our series of Galaxy S5 how to coverage.

As you can see from the video above LG offers many of the same features. It also supports multi-window mode, a kids or guest mode, one-handed operation, as well as tons of customization. Out of the box users can completely customize the on-screen button location, color, and options, as well as tons of other small changes to how the phone and homescreens look and feel. Samsung doesn’t offer any of that, so if you like customization, head to a carrier store and try them both, see what LG offers, and make your decision.

Here’s a quick rundown of the Galaxy S5 new software right from the Samsung launch event, for those wanting to see it in action a bit more.

Deep down both of these phones are extremely powerful, fast, fluid, and run the latest Android 4.4 KitKat software from Google. They’ve been heavily skinned and changed, but under the hood they’re the same.

Personally I’m more a fan of the simple and minimalistic software LG G3 delivers, but Samsung has an array of motion controls, gesture support, and other things that make it stand out too.

Price

Of course last but certainly not least is the price. Sadly there’s no winner here either and you’ll have a tough choice to make. Verizon has the LG G3 and Galaxy S5 both for $99 with a new 2-year contract, or $599 outright. Then of course all carriers offer monthly payment plans if you’d like to get the phone free, and pay it off month by month.

Most other carriers are asking $199 with a new 2-year contract, and pricing anywhere from $579 to $649 for both devices, so you’ll want to do a little research and decide which fits your budget.

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Both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and new LG G3 will likely be two of the best smartphones of 2014, so you really can’t go wrong with either option. That aside, read everything mentioned above and try them both out yourself before making a decision.

Comments

  1. Sapphire84 says

    I have the iPhone 5 and I want to switch!!! I still can’t decide wether it be the S5 or the G3!! I need everyone’s help and opinion, but pls try not to be biased.

    Thank you!!

    • Tyler says

      I used to have an iPhone 5. Bought the S4 when it came out last year and couldn’t be happier! Whichever one you choose is going to be a HUGE upgrade from the iPhone! You really can’t go wrong. The LG is a slightly better looking phone in my opinion, but that doesn’t really mean anything. Try to decide what key features the phones offer that you would actually use on a daily basis, after the honeymoon period. It really boils down to your gut feeling when you first try both phones in the store. Good luck and welcome to Android (soon)!

      • Sapphire84 says

        I read your review on the LG G3. I have the phone 5 and wanting to switch. But I’m stuck on both G3 and S5. Please help me choose the right phone for me.

        iPhone 5 bills you per data. And it’s just too much for me now.

        Like a blackberry, data is included with the plan. Meaning it has a set price already per month. Means also no going over the data plan. I had a blackberry for 3 years and loved it because of the plan and data combined into one bill. The iPhone on the other hand charges you per data overage. Which is hard to track down. And the memory of the iPhone is so crappy. I love taking lots of pictures and videos, but I can’t do that with my iPhone. I have to always keep deleting things off to make room for new ones. It’s annoying.

        I read on Rogers that for the S5 it’s $60/month. Including data. But same goes for the G3. Which I think either one of these phones will be cheaper monthly than the iPhone. I do a lot of social media and emails. Basically my phone is my personal laptop/computer. I’m always on my phone and I don’t have time to backup my phone to a computer coz I don’t own one. My phone is basically my personal on the GO camera, camcorder, computer, TV/Radio and phone all in one.

        Please help me decide between the G3 & the S5. I’ve been doing a lot of research on both phones and they’re equally tied. What makes one phone better than the other??

        Thank you.

  2. frank says

    I just got the g3, mostly because of the extra gb of ram, and 16 gb of drive space. The s5 was $50 more with my upgrade, so that probably had a lil to do with the decision, but it is thinner, and overall about the sane size with the bigger screen. And not mentioned above is the ability to capture 4k video.
    I am very satisfied with my decision. It operates smoothly. The buttons on the back are different, but hardly noticabe since you can unlock the phone by knocking on it.

    I cant say its better than the s5, but its as good as for my purposes.

  3. Asad says

    I recently switch from sony xperia p to g3, first of all o got disappointed by sony because they sent a very bugggy Jelly Bean uodate and never fix it. So I am done with Sony now.
    Now why I choose G3 because it comes with a very good camera and extra GB of ram that will really matters in comming years and device can survive better. Last but not least Starhub Singapore only offers 16 GB version of S5 that was a deal breaker.

  4. Jack Skellington says

    Technically the S5 is overall best out there right now.
    The only big thing is 2GB ram instead of 3. Though 2 still works great.
    It’s displays can be brighter or dimmer. More saturated or overall more natural. Is less reflevtive. Of course being Amoled means real blacks, even lighting, better white balance, and less space and power consumed.
    And if you want QHD and 3GB ram then get S5 LTE-A.

    And what do you mean almost same size? S5 is a bit shorter and more narrow and a lot thinner.
    Yeah G3 is not huge for its screen size but going to 5.5 was a poor move and made it a phablet.
    If people want that big then you have the Google pro. Which gives pro BTW has a larger battery despite being a good bit thinner. While G3 has same battery as g2.

    The camera of the S5 does better too. Though G3 takes a lead in night shots.
    Battery life so far is rated better for S5.
    USB 3.0 and water protection. Plus the soft touch plastic material for the S5 is one of the most comfortable on top of being thinner and lighter.
    Better headphone output.

    And one of the biggest things I think is the fact that G line and almost all mid range LG phones are Galaxy knock offs.
    The G2, God Pro and Pro 2 look like Galaxies and used similar look and feal finish. And almost every mid range LG looks like a Galaxy.
    And Optimus Ui is like a Touchwiz copy and paste even down to the features.

    Just the G3 ventures away from Galaxy design and the new Optimus Ui does not follow the new Touchwiz look. Though does maintain the older one, but a little more flat.

    All that being said both are great devices and anyone would be mostly happy with either.
    G3 is more crisp…unless you get S5 LTE-A again with 3GB ram. Plus the 16GB version of G3 only has 2GB ram too.
    G3 has slightly better speaker and better night shots in camera.

    • Sapphire84 says

      THANK YOU!!!!!
      THANK YOU!!!!!
      THANK YOU!!!!!

      I AM COMPLETELY TORN BETWEEN THE S5 & THE G3!! WITH THE INFORMATION YOU JUST SUMMERIZED FOR ME HELPS ME A WHOLE LOT MORE WHEN IT COMES TO DECIDING WHICH PHONE TO GET FOR MYSELF!!!! WHAT I WANT TO KNOW FOR SURE IS “WHAT MAKES EITHER ONE OF THESE CELLPHONES BETTER THAN TE OTHER”?? EXCLUDING THE FACT THAT THE S5 IS A WATER AND DUST RESISTANT. AND THE G3 CRISP PICTURE QUALITY. I NEED A BIT MORE REASSURANCE. I GOT SUCKED INTO THE IPHONE HYPE AND ENDED UP GETTING THE IPHONE 5. AFTER 6 MONTHS I HATED IT. I DONT WANT TO MAKE THE SAME IMPULSE DECISION AGAIN.

  5. Lilith_Black says

    I personally would go for LG G3.
    1. Personal experience with Samsung Galaxy S3,S4 and Note 3 has been choke full of bloat that makes the phone lag and overheat causing severe battery drain and frequent crashes (unusable till root and removal of bloat) This did not improve in S5 looking at the RAM usage.

    2. LG G2 got praised for its battery life (despite the same overload) – - >seems to have better power management here.

    3. Design is much better on G3 (the size-screen ratio is astounding)

    4. Rear buttons work now (I hated the previous ones on G2)

    5. 3GB RAM on G3 vs 2GB on S5: I will take the former.

    6. Irritating flaps on S5(I’m not interested in waterproofing my phone)

    7. G3 comes with wireless charging capability out of box.

    8. Simplistic camera interface and faster auto focus on G3

    • Sapphire84 says

      THNK YOU SO MUCH Lilith_Black!! BATTERY LIFE IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR ME SINCE IM ALWAYS ON THE GO AND ALWAYS ON MY PHONE! I AM PLEASED TO SAY THAT I HAVE DECIDED TO GO WITH THE LG G3!!! I WILL POST AN UPDATE VERY SOON!! THANK YOU!!

  6. Paco Villa says

    I own both S5 and G3 (I’m a bit of a technofile here) and a very big deal breaker for me was the 2Gb of Ram and 16Gb of space on S5. I know waterproof and heart rates may be appealing to some, but the qHD screen, 3Gb of ram and 32gb of space totaly got me. i run a lot of apps at once since I buy t ebay, sell on my country trhough a webpage, answer mails on gmail and outlook, paypal, browse internet, use facebook and whatsapp, twitter, instagram and 9gag and most of the time they’re running on background or at least waiting on recent apps, and S5 became laggy most of the times. I would totally recommend G3 on its 3gb/32gb version. If you can get it unlocked you’ll be in heaven.

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